Frank Yeend OAM (1923 - 2014)

Frank Yeend, c.1980s

(Photo: Frank Yeend collection)



Frank Edward Yeend was born in 1923 and educated in Canberra where his father was a Commonwealth public servant. After leaving school Frank also joined the Pubic Service. Enlisting in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942, he trained as a pilot and served on transport operations flying Dakota aircraft with in Australia and New Guinea. In 1946 he was discharged and commenced studying at the University of Melbourne for a Commerce Degree.

Later he became a trainee Air Traffic Controller with the Department of Civil Aviation and commenced duty at Essendon. He was then promoted to a position in the Head Office of the Department and was subsequently appointed as an Air Safety Investigator in the Air Safety Investigation Branch. Thus began a period of service spanning some 22 years involving many field investigations of aircraft accidents and participation in all Boards of Enquiry during that time. He held various positions within the Branch, finally being appointed as the Branch Head, Assistant Secretary, Air Safety Investigation.

Investigations were of many types of aircraft. Among notable accidents which attracted wide interest were the TAA DC-4 VH-TAA at Brisbane in 1961, Ansett F.27 VH-FNH at Launceston in 1961, a Bell 204 helicopter at Barracuda Oil Rig in Bass Strait, TAA Twin-Otter VH-TGR at Kainantu in New Guinea in 1970, TAA F.27 VH-TFB at Mackay in 1960, Ansett Viscount VH-TVC at Sydney in 1961, Ansett-ANA Viscount VH-RMI at Winton Queensland in 1966, and the collision between TAA Boeing 727 VH-TJA and Canadian Pacific Douglas DC-8 CF-CPQ at Sydney in 1971.

Frank Yeend also attended many overseas conferences and represented Australia at some ICAO meetings. He was an early member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators and assisted in the establishment of a chapter of the Society in Australia. He is a Fellow of the Society.

Following his years in air safety investigations, from 1975 to 1981 Frank Yeend was in charge of the Commonwealth's road safety program, firstly as Chairman of the Office of Road Safety, a Statutory body, and as Divisional Head in the Department of Transport. In 1981 he returned to air safety when he was appointed First Assistant Secretary, Flight Standards Division of the Department of Aviation. Frank Yeend retired February 1985.

Meanwhile for some sixty years Frank was involved in the sport of hockey, firstly as a junior player then progressing through a career embracing club and interstate player, coach, umpire and many administrative roles including State and Federal Presidents and then various international activities. His sixty years of activity and service to the sport were recognized by his appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia. After retiring from the department Frank lived in Canberra with his wife Lorna. Frank Yeend passed away on 18 December 2014.

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